One of the paradoxes within alternative culture and fashion is that those who choose to identify with it do so because they are dis-identifying with the trend of the day. In an effort to push themselves away from what is considered cultural conformity, the result is conformity to something else. And furthermore, the alternative strains that their followers fall into are stricter in design type and direction than any other form of trend. Naturally, as the majority of retailers want to cater for the majority at the same time as remaining unique to their brand, the variation of the cultural trend at any one time is usually quite diverse.
The alchemy between the elements of wishing to exert independence from the main flow of society and that of wanting to feel a sense of belonging result in this desire to adhere to one of the many alternative scenes that society has to offer. The fact that the companions of a person in life are undergoing the same form of journey in themselves as they are allows good bonding in friendship circles and helps people to connect on personal levels.
A tribal element can be metaphorically ascribed to this methodology of thought, and within our evolutionary past, it would have been sensible to stick to large groups of like-minded individuals. This trait would be expressed most freely perhaps, in times when oppression was high from external forces, and so maybe the psychology of people allows us to form alternative cultures in response to the pressure of the main trend on our most basic of thoughts. Only once the media began to reflect the alternative scene trends as fashionable, and the markets shifted in their favour also, the deeper significance of many of the motifs and styles was lost to the sea of slight variation. Music and film stars became the new role models and what they wear and say became the new signs of what society is going to emulate.
As well as forming a close bond as alternative scene members between each other, the culture is split up again into many variant subcultures that identify to completely different ideals. Such as metallers, goths, bikers, skaters, punks, and party-people, to name a few. They will all identify with each other as in the opposite crew in a manner of speaking, but again this distinction is sharp within these groups to the point of personal identity. Some people decide to mix it up, and they can be a skater goth or a punk-metaller, and this compound naming of styles goes into the music scene in which fusions of different types of music continuously create new works in different but similar ways.
These groups transcend the old fashioned outlook of class, gender, race, or faith. If you're in the right crowd, an unspoken rule is that it doesn't matter who you are in the day-time, what matters is what's in your heart. Everyone tries to get along, provided you look the part, and even if you don't most of the time things are pretty friendly. When the media portray particular styles as having challenging behaviour, it can filter into real life in which the similacra found on screen that impressionable people are identifying with become forerunners for how they will perceive and act out their future actions.
Each part of a nation, and the world will have different themes on the same main trends as those who style the trend in those places will have a hold on what everyone else will do. For example, a model that comes from a particular nation will be watched the most by that nation, and then those who watch this model and look trendy or within the cutting edge of their scene, take their own cut on what they like, then they become the peers of the main crowd in their area of town. This creates fashion 'cells' in which a few trend setters will wear slightly different variants of the current fashion and influence those around them to go in the same direction.
There seems to be a strong emotional attachment not only to the people of the same subculture but to the subculture itself, in which extreme dedication to the style, music, and ethos of the movement is taken, where a person is willing to part with their earned money to buy into the theme and go on defined experiences designed to appeal to their tastes. The desire to be part of something bigger but something else to the norm is extremely rewarding to gratify for the individuals who take the extra lengths to undergo the lifestyle associated with the alternative culture they have chosen to be a part of.
This mentality of tribal thinking remains for the most on the emotional plain and no-one is oath bound by the scene they enjoy, a lot of people change their styles as they grow older, some go further down one path and some mellow out into more casual versions of what they used to like. It is a general trend though that once a person has identified with alternative culture, it's unlikely they'll ever be lured in by the thrills of following mainstream fashion.
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